Brass Monkey Map
with places of interest and links in blue

Please note:- the red circles on the map indicate turnings

The run starts from The Vic, turn right out the car park down the hill to A511 island, turn right, carry on the A511 towards Leicester to the M1 (4.4.m), when entering the J22 M1 roundabout take the second exit, the A511 becomes the A50, follow this to the next island (1.3m) and take the first exit to Newtown Linford (1.3m). In Newtown Linford turn left at the T junction, please note, Newtown Linford is a tourist attraction, and if you were to turn right at the T junction for (0.5m) then left into Bradgate Park, you can park your bikes and take a short stroll to the stream or further, see Old John, Bradgate Park is one of the most popular tourist spots in Leicestershire, tea and coffee can be found close to the entrance on the opposite side of the road. Discover the picturesque ruins of Bradgate House, birthplace of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England in 1554 for just nine days at 15 years old, very interesting and moving articles can be found at http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/lady_jane_grey.htm

Follow along and up the hill for (1.0m) and turn left at the top into Benscliffe road, if you look right as approaching this junction there their is another entrance to Bradgate Park which is closer to the monument of Old John and Cropston Reservoir. continue to a T junction (3.1m) and turn right towards Loughborough, this is about the highest point in the area and great views of Loughborough can be had on the brow of the hill, drop down to the traffic lights in Nanpanton (0.9m) and turn right onto Woodhouse Lane, passing Nanpanton reservoir on your left, following it through to the T junction the other end (2.1m) and turn left into the outskirts of Woodhouse Eaves on your right, home to award-winning chef Paul Leary and ex England Goalkeeper Peter Shilton once lived here. Carry on down for (2.4m) and you will pass through the village of Woodhouse, quaint cottages and historic buildings, most famous being Beaumanor Hall, ancestral home of the Herrick family, was used as a listening station during the war. The Hall is now owned by Leicestershire County Council and is used as an educational base with outdoor activities, it is one of the most expensive villages in the county.

Eventually reaching the T junction at Quorn, take a left turn here for Loughborough on the A6,here we are aiming for the large lay-by on the left, the far side of Loughborough, (3.4m) there is only one roundabout on the A6 and the lay-by is approx (0.25) further on, and is only used to re-group everyone together on a run. Explore the area of Loughborough and Charnwood where you can experience the buzz of a famous university town mixed with the tranquility of the great outdoors, Loughborough is the home of the Great Central Railway, Britain's only double track steam line, which runs regular trips to Leicester at weekends and throughout the summer, see http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/. This university town is also a centre for the manufacturing of bells - find out more at Taylor's Bellfoundry. www.taylorbells.co.uk due to a large percentage of Australians living in and around the town as students of the University, it occasionally gets named Loogabarooga, both purposely for comic effect by Australians in the town and accidentally by visiting Australians and Americans unaware of its correct pronunciation, a bustling market town with open markets every Thursday and Saturday.

Carry on along A6 to a village called Hathern, the village is home to the Swift Sock Factory, one of only a small number of independent sock manufacturers left in the area, John Heathcoat of Duffield invented a machine for making lace in Hathern in 1808. having previously moved his business from Nottingham due to 'the intrusion of competing inventors'. He subsequently moved the factory to Loughborough and then in 1816 to Tiverton in Devon after 55 lace frames were destroyed by vandalism.

In Hathern there are 2 sets of traffic lights, the first set we used to turned left taking us through Shepshed on the old route. Shepshed, often known until 1888 as Sheepshed, also Sheepshead - a name derived from the village being heavily involved in the wool industry, local history books claim that Shepshed has two of the oldest roads in the country, Ring Fence and Sullington Road, the latter being an ancient British track named after the goddess Solina, so there!!

But now turn left at the second set (1.8m) taking us along the new route across country along Whatton Road, B5324, keep on this road now for (7.8m) passing under the M1 and by the village of Belton on your right. Belton itself is home to one of the few remaining free-standing maypoles in the country. This is a fact of which the local residents are very proud, Belton is home to its local team 'Belton Villa' who play at the local recreational ground every Saturday. The team plays in red shirts, shorts and socks.

Then on through to Osgathorpe which is on your left. Osgathorpe is a small village which lies in a fold of the hills in North West Leicestershire The parish church dates from the fourteenth century, A tower with a small pyramid turret was built at the south west corner of the church in around 1930 and contains two bells, which are rung using a clocking method, Remains of a stretch of the long-abandoned Charnwood Forest Canal can be seen alongside a footpath to the south of the village.

A mile further along brings you down a steep hill kissing the outskirts of Griffydam, a hamlet within the parish of Coleorton, It is most famously associated with a sacred spring, which lies along a path below the main road through the village. According to tradition, the name, Griffydam, derrives from a combination of the terms, Griffin (an ancient mythical beast with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle and 'Dam', as in, contained water source. An old local legend tells of how such a creature zealously guarded the well, forcing villagers to walk several miles for their water, until one day it was slain by a chivalrous passing knight.

Eventually the B5324 runs out of steam where it buts up to the A512 Loogabarooga road, here turn right up to the M42 island (1.2m) and take the first exit onto the A511 to Coalville, stick to the ring road and follow the brown tourism signs back to The Vic at the third roundabout, (3.9m) Congratulations you have just done The Brass Monkey Run, we encourage bikers,scooterists and classic, vintage and veteran vehicles, 2 3 4 + wheels to meet and do this run from the pub any time of the year. As the name indicates, Coalville is a former coal mining town, with name coming from the name of the house of the owner of Whitwick Colliery , Coalville House. Coal has been mined in the area since medieval times, A fire underground at Whitwick Colliery (now under the Morrisons supermarket and The Victoria which was at the time the main pub miners would frequent, led to the deaths of 35 men in 1898, The town grew up with the advent of coal mining which was pioneered by William Stenson and involved the sinking of shafts on the Snibston site by George Stephenson Quarrying, textile and engineering industries, such as railway wagon production, grew in the town in the 19th century, Stenson is sometimes described as the Father of Coalville, The now disused colliery at Snibston has been regenerated into Snibston Discovery Park, a museum focused on transport, mining and engineering and is well worth a visit, see:- http://www.leics.gov.uk/museums/snibston, Donington le Heath Manor House Museum a family home for 700 years, has been redeveloped into a museum in Coalville. The house has close connections to the Gunpowder plot of 1605 see:- http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/leisure_tourism/museums/donington.htm